Students in a Kindergarten class at Cataline Elementary School are pouring their hearts into an upcoming online fundraiser in Williams Lake.
Originally planned as an Identity Day project — students create something important to them, or their family — for the Boys and Girls Club of Williams Lake and District, has now also grown to help one of their classmates’ siblings in a battle with leukemia through an online auction.
Rya Enns, a Kindergarten teacher at Cataline, said the fundraiser will be twofold: first, to raise funds for the BGCWLD’s food pantry and, second, to help parents Claire and Ryan Bertoli as their daughter, Lucie, is once again at BC Children’s Hospital preparing to receive treatment for her second bout with leukemia.
Lucie’s younger sister Harper, also one of Enns’ students, spent time at BC Children’s Hospital after suffering a seizure when she was only a week old. Harper, who Enns said has taken remarkable strides in her own recovery, has undertaken a walk-a-thon as part of the online class fundraiser, and is accepting pledges to help her sister on the class’s group Facebook page: ‘Cataline Kindergarten Auction.’
In 2018, Lucie began treatment at the age of seven in what would be a three-year battle with leukemia. The family, however, recently learned Lucie, now 11, has relapsed.
“It’s amazing beyond belief,” said Enns of the dedication, support and commitment her students have shown to both causes. “I know our class will make a difference for the family and for the boys and girls club.”
When asked, students in Enns’ class said they were proud of their work, and happy to be able to help in any way they could.
“It makes me feel happy because it helps Harper’s sister, Lucie, and it helps other boys and girls,” said one student, Sophia Wilson.
“I feel happy because I like fundraising to help others,” said another Kindergarten student, Jack Bourdon.
Avaline Ostrom said she was glad to help Lucie, while Brooke Engelhart said she likes to help people.
Ethan Buckmaster added he just “likes doing stuff for other people.”
The online auction, meanwhile, will run from May 31 to June 12. It features all types of amazing and creative items for sale, all created by the Kindergarten students, including baking, bird houses, bird feeders, wind chimes, cookbooks, games and Harper’s walk-a-thon, to name just a few.
The auction site is being updated often, with photos of the projects the students are working on. Bidding will be done in the comments section on the Facebook page.
A GoFundMe page has also been created for the family by Shalene Ostrom titled ‘More Love for Lucie.’